Pregnancy can be the most rewarding adventure and the most draining nine months a woman can go through at the same time. And the debate between the positive and negative effects of herbal medicine in pregnancy has been in the minds of medical professionals for the longest time.
Among all the arguments and rebuttals, one thing remains certain, the need for further discussion of this topic is growing. Here are alternative herbal dietary supplements that pregnant women can take and their positive and negative effects.
The intake of garlic enhances a person’s immune system. That means a pregnant mother who’s more prone to infection can be saved by the garlic’s effect of limiting the growth of harmful bacteria that causes cold, flu, and other complications.
Allicin, a substance found in garlic, also helps lower cholesterol levels which can help reduce heart complications for both the mother and the child. One of these said complications is known as preeclampsia. It happens when a pregnant woman’s blood pressure goes higher than normal, usually after the 20th week of the pregnancy. Research states that one in ten pregnant women experiences this condition. Garlic reduces the risk of this condition by decreasing the chances of increased blood pressure.
However, the intake of garlic should be supervised. Consuming more than four fresh garlic cloves a day could affect the body negatively in terms of extremely low blood pressure and thinning of the blood. It’s also important to note that garlic intake should be avoided in the earliest stages of the pregnancy and the month of estimated birth.
This plant is known to be used to battle nausea and vomiting. This goes especially well against hyperemesis gravidarum or pregnancy-induced extreme nausea and vomiting. This condition causes dehydration and lightheadedness that might lead to other complications if not supervised properly. The intake of ginger solves this problem.
However, it is vital for the safety of the baby to ensure that the intake of ginger is only in small doses. Remember that more than 1,000 mg of ginger extract can cause heartburn and thinning of the blood, increasing the risk of bleeding, especially during labor.
Most commonly known for its wonders as herbal soap, moringa also takes pride in being a good dietary supplement for pregnant women. The intake of moringa during and after pregnancy is also ideal. Ingesting moringa leaves extract increases the body’s iron levels that help in preventing anemia.
It also aids in preventing inflammation, asthma, and diabetes, which can all be especially harmful during pregnancy. It’s been proven that the intake of moringa leaf extract and powder during the last trimester can help in preventing malnutrition and stunting of newborns.
Moringa still has its uses postpartum. It is known to help in relieving stress as well as regulating digestion, sleep, and mood. This can help recover the mother’s mental fortitude, especially during stages of postpartum depression.
And lastly, moringa also stimulates lactation. This milk production benefit can be a good way to keep the newborn healthy since the mother’s milk is also laced with the plant’s nutrients.
First things first, coconut helps in hydrating the body. This is an important factor to consider since morning sickness and the vomiting it induces might leave you dehydrated. Eating coconut can also help the baby grow since it contains healthy fats that could be absorbed by the baby.
Coconut meat also has chemicals that can help battle fatigue and increase your body’s immunity. Coconut milk can help improve blood circulation, preventing the common swelling in the feet and morning sickness. And lastly, it also helps with the prevention of urinary tract infections.
But since coconut can cause cholesterol levels to increase, obese and overweight women before the pregnancy should limit their coconut intake to at least twice a week. This is to avoid dyslipidemia and possible atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Among all in this list, cranberry is the safest one to consume during all trimesters of pregnancy. Cranberry juice strongly helps in preventing urinary tract infections and stomach ulcers. It can also help battle inflammation, lowering the risk of the mother catching the flu. It also lessens the chance of the mother developing gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Remember that these herbal remedies are here mainly for regulating your health and preventing complications. They should not be used to treat ailments and complications. And most importantly, make sure to check with your doctor all the time.